Gyroplanes Explained

08/22/08

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Gyroplanes are a class of airplanes approved by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).  They are often referred to as gyrocopters or autogyros.  Many gyros are small single place open frame affairs that are like flying motorcycles.  In the past most of these were classed as ultralights not requiring a regular pilot's license but with the new (2004) FAA regulations most small gyros will be considered sport planes requiring a new simplified sports pilot license. 

My gyro is a heavier two place machine and for me to fly it and carry passengers I need a regular pilot's license.

Like nearly all gyroplanes mine was made from a kit.   It was originally built by my friend Terry Eiland who is a gyroplane flight instructor (CFI) in Florida.   Most airplanes you see from Boeing 767's to Cessna 152's are "certificated" which means the FAA has scrutinized every phase of the plane's design and construction. 

However there is another category of planes known as "experimental."  This means the plane was built by an individual rather than a certified factory.  Experimental aircraft are sometimes built just from drawings but most are sold as kits by manufacturers who do some of the work for you.  Despite the name most "experimental" airplanes are well proven designs and quite safe.  In many cases there are hundreds of a particular design flying.   

Make sure to visit our Questions & Answers page to learn more about gyros and how they fly.

 

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This site was last updated 11/07/05

Copyright Rob Dubin 2005